Bakepedia’s Overview of Pre-Blended GF Flour Mixes
There are now many gluten-free flour blends on the market, making it easier than ever for the home baker to bake gluten-free (GF) without having to buy several different kinds of flours and ingredients requiring you to play mad-scientist at home. You do lose the ability to customize – perhaps you don’t want any white rice flour or bean flour – but these blends are useful for many bakers and in many applications, so I wanted to discuss some of the more popular ones here. They share some similarities but there are distinct differences among them. Of course, what you prefer might be different from what we like or what your GF neighbor likes, but vive la difference! Here are some details:
- Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flour: This blend was put together by Thomas Keller’s former pastry chef Lena Kwak while she was working as the Research and Development Chef in the kitchen of the famed French Laundry in Yountville, CA. Having such an illustrious background got the product notice and acclaim. It does work well, however it has a fairly high price point and also includes milk powder, which makes it highly unusual within the world of GF blends. (They have recently come out with a Wholesome Cup 4 Cup blend, which is meant to be used in lieu of whole-wheat flour. It is dairy-free, but does contain xanthan gum and flaxseed as well as bran).
- Bob’s Red Mill GF All-Purpose Baking Flour: This flour has been around for a while and is easy to find both online and in many supermarkets, both traditional as well as Whole Foods stores. As with all Bob’s Red Mill products it has a decent price point and simple packaging, which we like. The ingredients are: Garbanzo Bean Flour, Potato Starch, Tapioca Flour, Whole Grain Sweet White Sorghum Flour, fava bean flour. This blend relies heavily on beans and indeed many think it has a “beany” taste.
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour is new on the market and appears to be this company’s answer to a more versatile GF blend, and perhaps a response to the detractors from their original GF flour mixture with its bean flour content. They state that this blend will offer the simplest of conversions for home bakers and we agree. It is now our go-to GF blend as we have found that it most closely mimics traditional all-purpose flour of the blends we have tested. Ingredients: Sweet White Rice Flour, Whole Grain Brown Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Whole Grain Sweet White Sorghum Flour, Tapioca Flour and Xanthan Gum. Available in some supermarkets, Whole Foods and online. Try our chocolate chip cookies and our blueberry muffins using this blend.
- King Arthur Flour’s Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour contains: Rice flour, Tapioca Starch, Potato Starch, Whole Grain Rice Flour, Calcium Carbonate, Niacinamide (B3), Reduced iron, Thiamin Hydrochloride (B1), Riboflavin (B2). The vitamins and minerals seem to mimic those of “enriched” all-purpose flour and make this distinct among most GF blends. It is, indeed, very all-purpose and works well as a basic blend. It does not contain any xanthan or gums, as many bakers like to add their own. This blend allows that customization. Their GF line is being carried in more supermarkets everyday and are increasingly easier to find. Also available online.
- Pamela’s Products Artisan Flour Blend. This ingredient list is as follows: Brown Rice Flour, Tapioca Starch, White Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Sorghum Flour, Arrowroot Starch, Sweet Rice Flour, Guar Gum. This can be used as an all-purpose flour equivalent but the addition of the gum is a plus for some bakers and a minus for others. Easy to find on-line but not necessarily in a brick-and-mortar store.